For the professionals, Ramlilas have always been an esoteric little show, designed to amuse and learn moral lessons, theoretically and move on. Not any more, it seems.
A set of new-age, hard-core professionals, the educated elite class, as we usually refer them to, is actually wanting to imbibe and internalise the message of Ramlila by acting in it.
So, we have a chartered accountant, a computer teacher and an engineer all playing various parts in the stage extravaganza.
CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT AS LORD HANUMAN
Meet Lalit Grover, 25, a chartered accountant, who has been impressing a lot of people by essaying the role of the Hanuman at the Sector-20 Ramlila. He has been at it for ten years now. Practising privately, he said he is blessed to be part of India’s glorious mythological tradition.
“It is a moot point whether we youngsters are more driven by technology these days, but one can’t deny the role of faith and religion in our daily lives. Ramlila gives me an opportunity not only to keep my faith alive but a chance to explore my inner being,” he said.
He credits the inspiration behind his devotion to Ramlila as his grandfather, an actor at Ramlilas in Pakistan before partition.He has also been on fast for days, sleeps on the floor and follows all the rituals.
COMPUTER TEACHER AS RAM; NOW BACKSTAGE
A computer teacher at a government school, Ajay Gaur, 29, has been part of the Sector 22 Ramlila for over 15 years now.
Last year, he played several main characters, including Ram and Laxman, but this year he has been deliberately handling the backstage job. He is also doing the make-up of other artistes.
“For youngsters like us, Ramlila offers great moral teaching and I am happy that I have been playing my bit to carry forward this much-needed tradition,” he added.
ENGINEER AS ANGAD
Hira Singh, 22, who recently passed BTech with electronics and communication, said it was rewarding to participate in Ramlila. “Your mind is trained well,” he said. He has been playing Bharat and Angad at the Sector-28 Ramlila.